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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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and the honourable officers of the Polish Army still fighting by our side,
to accept the leadership of such a Command er-in-Chief!   Finally, since
1939, more than 2,000,000 Poles have been forcibly deported to Russia and
Siberia.  Such are the auspices under which these three unhappy gentlemen,
Messrs. Molotov, Harriman and Sir Archibald Clark-Kerr, are expected to
supervise the reorganisation of the present provisional Government, and
enable free and unfettered elections to take place.   What optimism, what
heroic faith in the democratic behaviour of the actual rulers of present-day
Poland, the Russian secret police !
. . . How can the Prime Minister reconcile the honour of this country
with his ignoring of the explicit understanding at the time of the signing
of the Anglo-Polish Treaty of Mutual Assistance that, if this country were
to enter into any new undertakings with a third State, their execution
should at no time prejudice either the sovereignty or territorial inviolability
of Poland, and vice versa ? If the right hon. Gentleman felt that, in spite
of that explicit undertaking, he had, none the less, to make some arrange-
ment which would violate the territorial inviolability of Poland, the least
he could do was to take into consultation the other party to this Treaty,
which is the legal constitutional Government of Poland sitting in London.
It is, indeed, a mournful reflection that this Empire, which stood alone in
1940,  except for Poland, against the might of triumphant Nazi Germany,
cannot now, when she has mighty Allies by her side, stand up for juster
treatment of her first and most martyred Ally of this war.   But if, indeed,
it be so, let us at least comport ourselves with dignity and honour.   Do not
let us pretend that something which is unjust is in reality right. Do not turn
away from our own shores those who have given their lifeblood for the
protection of our homes,
If we must consent to the fact of our Polish Allies being robbed of their
homes, let us find them a new home in our Empire or elsewhere. . , .
To send them back to a Sovietised Poland, or to hand over Poland to the
Government of the Lublin Committee, with the power that lies behind it,
would be nothing less than the betrayal of innocent blood. We can only
conscientiously consider the decision of the Yalta Conference in regard to
Poland if the Government can insure that contingents of Allied troops
shall be present in the country to supervise, not merely the elections but
the general conditions of life itself in Poland. Otherwise, we cannot avoid
that most severe of all condemnations which lies upon those who betray
innocent blood.
Mr. Petherick (Conservative) : I beg to move, at the end of the Question,
to add :
" but, remembering that Great Britain took up arms in a war of which
the immediate cause was the defence of Poland against German aggression
and in which the overriding motive was the prevention of the domination
by a strong nation of its weaker neighbours, regrets the decision to transfer
to another power the territory of an ally contrary to treaty and to Article
2 of the Atlantic Charter and furthermore regrets the failure to ensure
to those nations which have been liberated from German oppression
the full right to choose their own government free from the influence
of any other power."
In moving the Amendment which stands in my name and to which the
names of a number of my hon. Friends are also attached—and to which
other hon. Members have added their names since it was put on the Paper—
I hope that the House will sympathise with me in the very difficult task
that I have set myself to-day. The Amendment is the result of no idle
putsch. Nor has it been hastily conceived. Those hon. Friends of mine